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Why has WPT been removed from the channel line-up?

Regular Visitor

Why has WPT been removed from the channel line-up?

I live closer to Wisconsin than Chicago and was a frequent viewer of Wisconsin Public TV.  Why was it removed from my line-up.  And what is the deal with Slate TV.  If I wanted to stream TV I wouldn't be paying the ridiculous amount that I do to Comcast for cable.  This might just be the thing that makes me finally cut the cable cord.

Silver Problem Solver

Re: Why has WPT been removed from the channel line-up?

Broadcast stations have Defined Market Areas (DMA). If you were outside of a WPT PBS station's DMA, but within another's (possibly WTTW), then that station can demand the competition be removed. It is FCC rules, not Comcast just being mean.

Problem Solver

Re: Why has WPT been removed from the channel line-up?

Defined market areas work differently for PBS. It's only satellite that tries to force them into the same system for privately owned stations.

You can get any PBS station within 50 aerial miles, regardless of DMA. And usually, there's an effort to keep in-state networks on cable systems. However, Comcast doesn't have any systems on the Wisconsin side of the market. All those belong to Charter.
Frequent Visitor

Re: Why has WPT been removed from the channel line-up?


@drhull wrote:
Defined market areas work differently for PBS. It's only satellite that tries to force them into the same system for privately owned stations.

You can get any PBS station within 50 aerial miles, regardless of DMA. And usually, there's an effort to keep in-state networks on cable systems. However, Comcast doesn't have any systems on the Wisconsin side of the market. All those belong to Charter.

(4) WPT channels have been included in our channel lineup for as long as I can remember.  Today, 2018 Sep 27. they are not longer available.  I grew up in Wisconsin and now live just South of the WI/IL border.  I do not find any notification from Comcast about this change in our channel lineup.  When my cable box is tuned to channel number 21, that used to provide WPT viewing, the message displayed is, "PBS programming can be viewed via WTTW on channel 2 and WTTW HD on Clhannel 915".   The same is true when selecting any other channel number that used to provide viewing WPT.   This is so disgusting since programs broadcast by WTTW are not always the same as those broadcast by WPT.  Has WTTW demanded that WPT be remmoved from our channel lineup?

Silver Problem Solver

Re: Why has WPT been removed from the channel line-up?

You can try contacting WTTW and WPT to see what is going on:

https://interactive.wttw.com/about/contact-us

https://wpt.org/contact_us

New Poster

Re: Why has WPT been removed from the channel line-up?

I completely agree. I watch WPT more than WTTW and WPT doesn't crop it's programming if you don't have HD (I assume). When programs are on both stations I watch WPT.  All the PBS stations are part of the reason I even pay for my VERY basic cable package.

New Poster

Re: Why has WPT been removed from the channel line-up?

I agree.  While I've only had my very basic cable package since 2002, that's 16 years of both PBS stations (WPT and WTTW). I'm 41 years old and I have no recollection of a time that in Rockford, IL there was just WTTW.  I'm very dissapointed and would like WPT back.

New Poster

Re: Why has WPT been removed from the channel line-up?

I contacted WTTW and they said it has nothing to do with them.

Problem Solver

Re: Why has WPT been removed from the channel line-up?

Other PBS stations can't demand anything regarding carriage of other PBS stations the way that privately owned networks can.

It sounds like Comcast has dropped WPT, and made that decision on their own.
New Poster

Re: Why has WPT been removed from the channel line-up?

Is this yet another instance of Comcast charging us more while giving us less? I moved to Rockford in 1990, and WPT was a major reason for my cable tv subscription.  I receive tons of channels I never watch, but WPT is one I watch every day. I am not a happy customer.

New Poster

Re: Why has WPT been removed from the channel line-up?

I called Comcast this morning to find out why WPT has been dropped. After navigating their annoying voice prompts, I finally got to a representative. She told me that WPT's contract with them ended and they were in "negotiations" with them. I then called WPT and they told me that wasn't true. The person from WPT told me that Comcast is only required to carry one PBS station and that they had opted to only air WTTW. I love both stations and am very disappointed in this decision. I wish we had another option besides Comcast. I can watch WPT programming online, but would rather view on the television. 

Frequent Visitor

Re: Why has WPT been removed from the channel line-up?


@gregorybsims wrote:

Is this yet another instance of Comcast charging us more while giving us less? I moved to Rockford in 1990, and WPT was a major reason for my cable tv subscription.  I receive tons of channels I never watch, but WPT is one I watch every day. I am not a happy customer.


I grew up in Wisconsin and only retained Comcast's Xfinity TV service for providing content from Wisconsin.  I will miss being able to use my Comcast DVR to record and time shift that content.  To partially resolve the issue,  I just donated, to WPT, a little more than what is required to get a PBS Passport.  Then, I went to a local store and bought a Roku Ultra device.  This device allows me to stream WPT content to my TV.  I have not had a single pause in the content being streamed, after using it for 4 days.  I use Comcast as my Internet Service Provider.  A Roku app installed on our Cell Phones allows both of us to control the Roku device via this app or via the Roku remote which allows controlling the TV's Power and Volume.  I am very happy with the Roku Ultra and how well it works for streaming WPT and also Xfinity (BETA) streaming.  It also works very well for Streaming Channel, Weather4us.

New Poster

Re: Why has WPT been removed from the channel line-up?

Clearly, Comcast does not care about their subscribers. After years of broadcasting Wisconsin public television  the careless, rude officials of Comcast , without warning or consulting their viewers, untimely ripped these three channels from their cable lineup. This demostrates that when you have a monopoly, customers are an afterthought. The day they removed Wisconsin Public Television, I called and asked "What happen to these stations?" the customer service representative told me that the problem was with my system and she rebooted my router. Comcast failed to inform their own employees of this change and that subscribers might express concerns about the loss of these three staples of their cable offerings. 

New Poster

Re: Why has WPT been removed from the channel line-up?

Hi, I’m still trying to transition from this change but just want to point out that all of WPT channels programming is available to stream online from wpt.org and so it is an option. Wow what a headache though and a learning curve trying to navigate the computer and web pages just to watch the shows that I used to have easy on tv. I love the xfinity remote because it is easy to use. Anyway, it can be done with lots of steps, you get to the page, I always have to click play twice, then it will start with the volume muted so then I have to click the volume on. And the volume button is one of those little icons that disappears until you click in the box. People who did not grow up with Wisconsin Public Television may not understand. Illinois public television has a few good shows but there is no substitute for University Place! I have learned about things I’d have never heard of otherwise, mostly though I’d just have it on during the day when I’m home. Btw, wpr.org streams the radio programming if you’re willing to figure it out.
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